Public gets a look at Ohio's first LEED-certified public school

Families, alumni, and community members got an opportunity to tour what will be Ohio's first LEED-certified public school on Sunday.

Located on the former site of the neighborhood elementary school, the new K-8 Pleasant Ridge Montessori School will house 550 students.

The school is still awaiting word on LEED Silver certification, which should come soon.

"CPS got so excited about the features that they decreed that all buildings from here on in will be built to LEED standards," says Marjorie Evert of the school's citizen planning committee.

Architects Steed Hammond Paul and DHArchitects situated the 75,310-square-foot building to take full advantage of natural light and incorporated many green and sustainable features such as:

  • A white reflective roof
  • A high-efficiency HVAC system
  • Low-flow toilets and water fixtures
  • Convex blinds between the glass, directing light toward the ceiling
  • Sloped ceilings and transom-styled windows in each classroom, channelling natural light into corridors and common spaces
  • A raised flooring system for improved ventilation

Although the building's roof doesn't contain solar panels due to a shift in priorities due to Duke Energy's buyout of Cinergy, it's already set up to receive them.

"The roof is built to support solar panels, and all of the electrical connections are in place," Evert says.  "It may actually be a blessing in disguise, since the price of solar panels has continued to come down since they were first approved."

Specifically designed to fit the Montessori learning method, groups of classrooms surround common, extended learning areas, giving teachers space for extended group learning activites on each of the building's three floors.

As a community learning center, the building also features centrally-located meeting rooms.

Pleasant Ridge Montessori School, which opens this fall, is the neighborhood school for Pleasant Ridge, Amberley Village, Golf Manor, and parts of Columbia Township, Kennedy Heights and Silverton.

Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Marjorie Evert, school citizen planning committee

Photography by Scott Beseler